Paul Simon might have sung 'Bridge Over Troubled Waters' at the opening of the Democratic Party national convention but for many supporters of Bernie Sanders, supporting the corporate approved Hillary Clinton is a bridge too far.
WAS THERE A POLITICAL INTENT behind singer Paul Simon's decision to sing ‘Bridge Over Troubled Waters‘ at the opening of the Democratic Party convention? Was he really suggesting that a bridge cold be built over the troubled waters between the Clinton and Sanders camps?
If so, it fell flat. Maybe Art Garfunkel needed to be there.
Even the best efforts of Michelle Obama, Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders himself could not pour enough oil on these troubled waters. Sanders himself - for the first time - was booed by his own supporters at a pre-convention meeting when he attempted a defence of Hillary Clinton.
It is a bridge way too far for the left to back the corporate approved Clinton. As one Sanders supporter told CNN 'I'm not going to be bullied into supporting Hillary Clinton out of a fear of Donald Trump."
The dislike for Clinton was only intensified by the leak of internal Democratic National Committee emails that confirmed what Bernie Sanders had been saying for months - that the DNC, in contravention of its own rules, had been campaigning against him in favour of Clinton.
The Wikileaks email dump on the eve of the convention forced the DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz to resign. Seemingly oblivious to the antagonism that Wassermann Schultz has generated, Clinton immediately hired her 'longtime friend' as her campaign's 'honorary chair’. If Clinton does win the presidency there's certain to be a place for Wasserman Schultz in her administration.
The inspiration and reinvigoration of the American left that the Sanders campaign has provided meant that it was never going to acquiesce to supporting the cynical corporate centrism of Hillary Clinton. And Sanders can't easily go from describing Clinton as being in the pocket of Wall Street to claiming that she would make 'a very good president' - and expect to be believed. That too is a bridge too far.
While he might claim that the Democratic Party now as the most 'progressive' election platform in its history (which is debatable), much of it is couched in generalities that Clinton will evade once she is safely ensconced in the White House surrounded by her people - like Wasserman Schultz.
The dissatisfaction with Hillary Clinton has meant that the Green Party's presidential candidate Jill Stein has enjoyed a surge in support. She has consistently warned that support for the 'lesser evil' Hillary Clinton can only lead to worse and more barren choices in the future.
Although comedian and “Bernie supporter” Sarah Silverman admonished the Sanders camp for failing to be appropriately excited about Hillary Clinton, most of Bernie’s supporters aren’t wealthy celebrities and can’t afford to be ‘relaxed’ about Clinton. They know that there has to be a better way.
In the end if there really is to be a 'political revolution' in the United States then the corporate duopoly represented by the Democrats and the Republicans has to be rejected. As Jill Stein says:
“A movement for democracy and justice is sweeping the planet — from Occupy Wall Street to the Arab Spring to the Black Lives Matter movement. People are rising up to halt the neoliberal assault, calling for an America and a world that works for all of us. While our movement is winning important victories – notably for living wages and against fossil fuel infrastructure – the economic elite have only tightened their grip. People are realizing that if we want to fix the rigged economy, the rigged racial injustice system, the rigged energy system etc., we must also fix the rigged political system...